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New York City! A melting pot of not only ethnicities but eats, yes!

I used to want to live in NYC. Be a hippie-ish collegiate, ruling the world from Manhattan. Now, I can’t imagine living in New York. For one, it’s too g-d crowded. And two, I would be broke. And three, I would be 400 lbs. There’s no way on this Earth I would cook or bake for myself. There are just too many restaurants. And they are all good. (Most). So, I’d be cooped up in my decrepit apartment in the Queens projects, broke because I’d have spent all my money eating my way through Manhattan.

It was kinda the perfect weekend, I must gloat. The weather was divine. It was like ‘hello, tourists from Florida, here’s more sunshine!’ Plus, we had an extraordinary food guide, Joeliperson, who steered us in the right direction of yummy eats. Thank god he is such a good eater. I am very impressed.

Our first meal was right before we saw the Broadway show American Idiot with Joeliperson in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen. A buzzing, bustling area of open air restaurants right around the corner from Broadway. I can’t remember too much beyond that because we had a bottle of wine and 3 shots of mystery potion post meal. (Seriously, our waiter came by with 3 glasses and filled them with amaretto? or port of some kind and came back 2 more times! It was so awesome!) Dinner at Basilica was a treat (excuse the grainy picts):

(btw, the show was soooo awesome. If you like Green Day. And that album).


Birthday breakfast at Balthazar. I read about this joint in our NYC travel guide book. (We are so those people. And not only do we get the book but we map out each day’s events. Including meals. Oh yes). Before I realized brunch was like the thing to do in NYC, I asked hubby to get us a breakfast rez. (Who makes breakfast rez’s? We do).

Since my tummy can’t handle eggs, the ham & gruyere croissant was my first choice:

Shayne ordered the buckwheat crepes with eggs, ham and gruyere:

That day was spent in Central Park riding bikes. Oh my god……. we probably biked 5 miles. I mean, I don’t even know. That place is too big. My head was spinning after we left… We didn’t even see everything. We didn’t even make it over to the Reservoir. I KNOW.

So that night after biking off 2 lbs, at least,.. we had dinner at Craft. Tom Colicchio? Know him? Well he’s this amazingly talented kinda famous chef who has restaurants peppered throughout the U.S. and he’s probably been seen on Top Chef doing his thing. Alright so I’m still an amateur and all and I haven’t been to that many epic restaurants yet but this was by far the best meal I have ever had. For the first time in my life, I can’t even form sentences to describe this epicurean experience. And these photos will not do justice (lighting was bad), but here’s what we enjoyed:

Even the BREAD was great:

We had a tuna tartare to start things off and get us salivating:

Main dishes included my roasted chicken (the moistest, tender poultry I have ever had), seared cod and ravioli:

But the sides were the stars. The creamiest, dreamiest mashed potatoes on the planet, fairytale eggplant (their name, not mine), corn & bacon risotto (the best risotto.. EVER), shiitake mushrooms to die for:

Ahh and I’m sure Tom threw together my little chocolate cracker surprise:
We couldn’t figure out wtf these had in them…fennel?

Upon turning 24, drunkenness ensued with greasy pizza and a late cab ride back to the Greenwich lair. Brunch called the next day…. with an all-you-can-drink-margaritas-&-bloody marys-for-1.5-hour happy hour. What!? I kinda love New Yorkers for this whole brunch thing. It’s so me. I am not a big breakfast eater. I can’t eat eggs and well, that pretty much dominates breakfast menus. And getting tipsy at 11 a.m.? Why not!

After brunch we headed over to Chelsea…. Chelsea Market is my heaven. I am in love. I wish we could’ve spent more time there but we had a Circle Line boat tour to catch.

Saturday night Joel walked us half a world away to a Middle Eastern joint, Moustache. Hummus, fresh pita, gyros…OUZI:

Red velvet & smore cupcakes and banana pudding from The Magnolia Bakery followed. Couldn’t go a birthday without a birthday cake.

Duh. We got bagels.

We hung out with our buddies we met in Puerto Rico the next day. They live in Queens and wanted to show us their neighborhood, drive us around, show us some sights and feed us and whatnot. We had some crazy Spanish/Chinese fusion in Spanish Harlem and a cheesesteak from their neighborhood corner store. It was ghetto but so GOOD!

Monday night’s meal was like butta. It was our last meal with Joeliperson and I can’t thank him enough for taking us to Alta. It was so damn good! It’s a lengthy, tapas-style menu, everything a la carte. I had browsed the menu online and, honestly, I was a little overwhelmed.  But, after scouring the catalog of selections I made up the table’s mind (:)) with 6 delicious dishes, (squinting may be necessary), including the seductive FRIED GOAT CHEESE with LAVENDAR infused HONEY UGH!:

Thank you Joeliperson for the cmyfood-worthy meals! 🙂


chili and pasta

I have a mighty yummy crock pot full of veggies simmering in tomatoes for chili that’ll be ready tomorrow night. Mmm-mmm. Nothing better than chili and cornbread, friends!

With all our vegetables we dug up at the farmer’s market last week, I made roasted pepper pasta. We don’t really eat a lot of pasta, which is kind of a good thing but I don’t do it any justice by inhaling massive amounts of bread. So when we do make pasta its usually with a really light sauce. Basil pesto…olive oil and garlic… I can’t stand thick, raunchy red sauces. Heartburn, anyone?

While pasta cooked, I diced an onion, yellow tomato, cut fresh basil & parsley and minced garlic. I preheated our broiler to 350, put about 4 medium sized peppers on a cookie sheet and let them roast for 10 minutes..give or take. When they start charring its a good indicator they’ve been roasted enough. After those sat in a bowl, covered, for 10 minutes we scraped the char off and sliced them. After draining the pasta liquid, I added a generous drizzle or two of olive oil, tomato, onion, garlic and herbs and let that marry on medium-low heat. Then for the finishing touch, right after you take the pot off the stove, add *fresh* mozzarella. It has to be fresh. Get the expensive stuff, its way better.

enjoy your meals!